Thanksgiving is a holiday that focuses on gratitude, quality time with family and friends, and the sharing of a large meal together. This holiday provides us with the perfect teaching opportunities for families to share the importance of all members helping out and contributing their talents. Borrowing from the infamous Paw Patrol’s motto, “No job is too big, no pup is too small” – all members of the family can get involved – no matter how young or small.
By encouraging and setting up the expectation for our children to help out at important family events, we are teaching them about acts of giving, raising their self-confidence and treating them as important members of the family. We are providing them with an opportunity to be a part of something bigger and to be needed and appreciated.
Ways Children Can Contribute to Thanksgiving Celebrations:
- Help plan the celebration – count the number of expected guests, decide who will be in charge of what
- Make a list of dishes for the big meal
- Grocery shop
- Carry in groceries
- Pick up toys, sweep, vacuum, clean the bathroom
- Rake the leaves in the yard (or shovel snow)
- Make a welcome banner, color a picture or create table decorations
- Create a Thanksgiving poem, song or dance to entertain
- Offer to give the Thanksgiving prayer or toast
- Set the table
- Help with food preparation – measure ingredients, peel potatoes, etc.
- Be in charge of making a dish
- DJ or be in charge of music
- Greet guests as they arrive
- Take beverage orders and deliver them to guests
- Pass out appetizers
- Watch and entertain younger siblings, cousins or other little guests
- Share their toys with guests
- Organize a game or two
- Clean up after the big dinner – collect dinner plates and cups, remove platters from the table, etc.
- Do the dishes
- Take out the trash
- Pick up play areas
- Share gratitude throughout the celebration by simply saying “Thank you.” to family members who are also helping with the holiday festivities
Whether you are having a close-knit Thanksgiving at home, hosting the big family gathering or traveling to celebrate the holiday, think of ways, big and small that every member of the family can do their part.